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Safety, Security + Evacuation

We help owners and operators of buildings, crowded places to enhance safety and security operationally and through design. We provide expert analysis and advice to help plan security overlays and emergency responses.
Canary Wharf Case Study

Our services include:

  • Evacuation planning
  • Security checkpoint design
  • Crowd planning for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM)
  • Human behaviour in emergencies.

Evacuation planning

We use industry-leading methods and tools to analyse emergency evacuation strategies for managers of buildings, iconic sites, public spaces, large events, stations and multi-organisation city districts.

We combine our analytical tools with our expertise in pedestrian and evacuation dynamics to advise on:

  • Emergency strategies
  • Requirements to implement strategies, e.g., organisation, decision-making, communication
  • Risks
  • Operational planning, procedures and training.

We advise on safety factors, engineering judgement and the practical design of buildings and open spaces. We support the development of emergency procedures, including communication and announcements during incidents. We provide advice on how the “Run, Hide, Tell” guidance may apply in your organisation.


Security checkpoint design

We work with large events, attractions and stadia across the world to improve search and screening systems. Search rates can vary enormously, and in our experience, there is usually the opportunity to improve the performance of these systems. Analysis can help to create a balanced system that is both thorough and efficient.

We measure the throughput, effectiveness, and (cost) efficiency of security checkpoint designs and suggest enhancements by studying the security objectives, process, pattern of demand, staff performance, design, and the levels of accumulation and queuing expected.


Crowd planning for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM)

We provide specialist advice for pedestrian planning around Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) barriers to protect large crowds. The direction of pedestrian approach, position of HVM in respect to other security and design features, and the pedestrian behaviours in response to the HVM, all impact crowd flow. We assess the impact of permanent and temporary security overlays on pedestrian flow around any HVM bollards and barriers and ensure that queues are protected within the secure perimeter.

NACTSO’s Crowded Places guidance

Research and guidance

We provide advice across a range of initiatives to maximise survivability of the public during evacuation and invacuation scenarios. We have recently contributed to several key guidance documents, including the redrafting of NACTSO’s Crowded Places guidance and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority’s Green Guide 6th Edition.

Research + Development

Human behaviour in emergencies

We have specialist expertise in the area of human behaviour in emergencies, which feeds into our understanding of decision-making processes, the effectiveness of signage and notification systems, and people movement. Our subject matter experts (Dr Steve Gwynne and Dr Aoife Hunt) are involved in research initiatives across the world to collect data on human behaviour, enhance theoretical understanding and improve computational tools.

Team members